Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Couple of things

- So Dubose Porter decided to lend some unneeded credibility to a lousy plan by an unpopular Republican leader, despite the fact it's opposed by, well, everyone. Here's what he should have said, but didn't.

- Though Erick wants to keep his head in the sand, it's refreshing to see some Republicans actually develop alternative policy proposals for key issues of the day.

- I'm almost beyond attempting to reason with folks who oppose this NABF proposal, primarily because there's this certain self-righteousness about their questions ... as if they haven't ever been considered before by those who plan and prepare these programs or facilities, or by our local leaders from both sides of the aisle who have worked to bring this here. Which is why I think Doc Eldridge's question - 'If not this, then what?' - is relevant. The point being that if you keep pushing back against development and investment in this community, you're going to see such opportunities dry up. You cry 'wolf' one too many times, and eventually folks stop coming to check on you.

- I was busy with work and unable to attend the affordable housing conference, but it sounds like it was mighty interesting, particularly Mayor Heidi Davison's idea to use HUD funds to help get an affordable housing non-profit foundation going. Related to that, I'm working with some folks to launch a group called The Stable Foundation, which would do just that, in addition to providing things like financial literacy, life skills, job training, etc.

- Flack is done with Rep. Jim Marshall after the latter voted against funding the expansion of SCHIP. Granted, Marshall's vote was astoundingly stupid (seriously, this thing had broad bipartisan support in the House and Senate ... why pick it for political cover?), but I'm not ready to throw in the towel on him yet. Why? Because he's still a good congressman overall for Georgia and because he's a Democrat with name recognition who is, as of now, the only viable option to win in this conservative state.

- Want to know one reason why Barry Flemming is challenging Rep. Paul Broun? This medical college thing. I know it's something done by the Georgia General Assembly, but having an Augusta Republican in Washington would give that community some clout in these negotiations. Still, I agree with Doc ... if this gets down to ability to expand and economic benefit, Athens-Clarke County wins it hands down.

- Sara, I'm breathing a little easier. Five games left and a three-game lead.

12 Comments:

Blogger Snowden Tatarski said...

"use HUD funds to help get an affordable housing non-profit foundation going."

How will this differ from the efforts of the Housing Authority (i.e. loan assistance for those who build affordable housing, underwriting loans to UGA for new dorms, assistance to low income tennants and borrowers?

No naysaying. Just interested.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Shhhh! We do not speak of it until it is over and done!

(Yes, I have officially lost my mind with 5 games to go.)

8:45 AM  
Blogger Nicki said...

Eh, I'm totally bored by the NBAF thing. Build it, already.

Of course, I'm from Tennessee, where we ski blithely in the shadow of the cooling towers...

9:04 AM  
Blogger Jmac said...

True. The last time I acted confident, the Red Sox promptly lost five out of six to the Yankees.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Kely said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:00 PM  
Blogger The Augustan said...

About Fleming and Broun:

Check out this article from The Columbia County News-Times (published today, 26 September 2007):

http://newstimes.augusta.com/stories/092607/opi_145127.shtml

Comment at my blog: http://theaugustan.blogspot.com/

12:22 PM  
Anonymous myella said...

What would make a real difference is to require a certain percentage of homes or units in a development to be under the $120,000 level. Cutting the red tape just puts more money in the pocket of developers.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, myella, you can't really do that either.

Price controls aren't going to solve anything. It will just mean shitty houses getting built.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous myella said...

"It will just mean shitty houses getting built."

No, it will mean small houses will be built - real small.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Stop!theBS said...

What would make a real difference is to require a certain percentage of homes or units in a development to be under the $120,000 level. Cutting the red tape just puts more money in the pocket of developers.

O.K. so you do that, and the homes quickly sell out to worthy working class people. What do you do in a couple of years when they turn around and sell that house for $150,000 or so.

There's plenty of formerly affordable housing in Athens. We just sold a nice brick home in an established neighborhood, on a nice lot with old oaks and all that stuff for $90,000 ---- to an investor who promptly made rental housing out of it. Before everyone goes ape about "rental controls", this is a single family rental.

There really is no effective measures that control the market forces that push low priced housing into the rental market.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Jmac said...

There's plenty of formerly affordable housing in Athens. We just sold a nice brick home in an established neighborhood, on a nice lot with old oaks and all that stuff for $90,000 ---- to an investor who promptly made rental housing out of it. Before everyone goes ape about "rental controls", this is a single family rental.

Speaking as someone who works with this issue quite frequently, that isn't actually the case. Some housing does exist that is affordable, but it's rarely in safe and secure neighborhoods. There are exceptions, but you have to look hard for them.

I'm not crazy about price controls either. What needs to happen is increased support, public and private, for organizations that work to address this issue, and more cooperation from developers who aren't jacking up luxury townhomes willy-nilly.

What do you do in a couple of years when they turn around and sell that house for $150,000 or so.

Well, pat them on the back for building up some financial equity. Owning property is a real way to help lift folks out of poverty, so good.

The real thing lacking is transitional housing which can help folks move from rental situations into sustainable independence.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Stop!theBS said...

Speaking as someone who works with this issue quite frequently, that isn't actually the case.

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree. We lived in this particular subdivision about 15 years and never had any crime problem. I know of several others like it. I don't see looking "hard" as a burden.

Well, pat them on the back for building up some financial equity. Owning property is a real way to help lift folks out of poverty, so good.

I'm not faulting the people for cashing in. The point I'm trying to make is that the goal of providing affordable housing for purchase may be so elusive as to be unobtainable because that housing is very likely to become unaffordable. Especially in an area as highly developed as ACC, it is hard for me to imagine a program that would provide a significant amount of affordable housing over any significant amount of time.

6:30 PM  

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